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Perceived Imbalances In PHEDC Causes Drawbacks In AKS Power Sector

By MICHAEL DADA

It has emerged that Akwa Ibom State may be at the receiving end of perceived imbalances in the operation of PHEDC. This observation was made at a workshop organized by Seven Energy in conjunction with the office of the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Power.

The Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Power, Dr. Victor Udo, set-up a committee to identify the imbalances in PHEDC and proffer solutions. The committee comprised of a representative of TCN, a former PHEDC staff, a major contractor in Akwa Ibom State and an Engineer in the SSA's office.

Preliminary findings shows that the four major imbalances in PHEDC operation includes demanding Five (5) years warranty for transformers installed by contractors, improper metering, high electricity bills, and the lack of local content representation.

Currently, PHEDC's demand for five (5) years warranty from contractors is against the generally acceptable one (1) year standard in other distribution companies in Nigeria.

It was further disclosed that PHEDC's use of estimated billing instead of meter reading is responsible for high electricity bills in Akwa Ibom. More so PHEDC's costs of single phase meters and 3-phase meters are outrageous.

For instance, a single phase meter is sold by PHEDC for N39, 500 instead of N25, 000 as stipulated by NERC while a 3-phase meter is sold for N68, 500 instead of N55, 000.

It has also been observed that Akwa Ibom State indigenes were most affected by the mass disengagement of former PHEDC staff by 4-Power Consortium. Majority of the State's indigenes who served at Management levels were disengaged.

This implies that the crux of Akwa Ibom State's power operations is in the hands of non-indigenes who are less qualified and less experienced than indigenes. It is pertinent to state that for the actualization of His Excellency's vision for steady power supply, these perceived imbalances need to be checked and corrected.